A thoroughly unscientific Winthrop Chamber of Commerce poll, placed on the organizationâ€™s website about one year ago, reveals that a majority of the respondents favor a resort-style casino at Suffolk Downs with only a small minority of respondents voting against any gambling at all.
The poll asks respondents to answer in one of four ways, 1) In favor of a resort-style casino at Suffolk Downs, 2)In favor of a slots parlor at Suffolk Downs, 3) Opposed to gambling at Suffolk Downs, because it is a bad location, or 4) Opposed to all gambling.
Chamber Executive Director Eric Gaynor noted the poll was put up on the website last year, when the state legislature and Governor Deval Patrick failed to come up with a compromise that would have legalized gambling then.
However, now a little more than 12 months later and with a gambling bill passed in the legislature and signed by Governor Patrick, the limited sampling of answers does seem to indicate an acceptance of gambling in the Town.
â€œFirst of all, we want to make sure that people understand this was a totally unscientific poll,â€ explained Gaynor. â€œWe put the poll on the website just to see, kind of what peopleâ€™s attitudes to the whole debate were and we left it up there, because the debate continued.â€
To date just 226 visitors to the Chamber website have decided to participate in the poll, but of those participating, 56.1 % of respondents favored a resort-style casino at Suffolk Downs and another 6.5% said they were in favor of a slots parlor at the location.
Of those opposing, 30 % said they opposed gambling at Suffolk Downs because it is a bad location and just 7.4% said they were opposed to gambling entirely.
â€œAt the time, we just wanted to see if people were opposed to gaming entirely, or just to the idea of a slots parlor at Suffolk Downs,â€ explained Gaynor. â€œThe results seem to indicate that people are mostly in favor of a resort-style casino, because of the possibility of extra tourism the casino could generate, but a slots parlor seems to have more of a negative image.â€
Anyone interested in signing in an expressing their opinion on the poll can do so by visiting www.winthropchamber.com.
New phonebooks could be out in February
ON a separate issue, Gayor said this week that the 2012 Winthrop Chamber of Commerce â€œNeighborhood Numbersâ€ phonebook could be out as early as late February, if the weather continues to hold out.
Often cited by the Chamber as Winthropâ€™s â€œRealâ€ local phone book, the Neighborhood Numbers book has been closed for new advertisements and phone listings and the book is in the pre-production and layout stage.
â€œRight now, weâ€™re having the book laid out, which is a time consuming process in of itself, because we have so much information to put into the book and we have to make sure everything fits and that all of the information is up to date and accurate,â€ said Gaynor.
This yearâ€™s phone book will be about 312 pages when it is completed and will contain more than 300 advertisements from local businesses. The phone book also undertook an aggressive â€œopt-inâ€ program for cell phone users who do not have traditional â€œlandlineâ€ telephones. According to Gaynor, the Chamber saw a large increase in the numbers of local residents
That chose to list their personal cell phone numbers with their names in the book.
â€œLast year, the weather really slowed down our distribution of the phone book, because we rely on a delivery company to drop off the books door to door and with all of the snow we received, many of the books were not out until mid-March,â€ said Gaynor.
The mild weather this year and the timely closing of the book for advertisements and new listings, means the book could be delivered to door steps by mid or late February, as long as production continues smoothly and â€˜old man winterâ€ continues to take it easy on us.